TFGSoccerClub writer DYLAN APPOLIS takes a look back at the top 10 best signings during the 2018-19 Absa Premiership season.
Ben Motshwari (Orlando Pirates)
The 28-year-old midfielder, who joined the Buccaneers from Bidvest Wits at the beginning of the campaign, had a slow start to life at the Soweto giants and played second fiddle to Xola Mlambo and Musa Nyatama.
When given the opportunity, Motshwari impressed coach Milutin Sredojevic and became a regular starter for Pirates as he helped the club to a second place finish in the league, while helping them qualify for the MTN8 next season.
Motshwari went on to feature 27 times for the Buccaneers while claiming two assists and bagging two goals across all competitions.
Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs)
The Zimbabwean international was one of Amakhosi’s stand-out performers during their disappointing 2018-19 campaign during which they failed to secure any silverware for the third season running after they were humbled by TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup final last weekend.
Much was expected from a player of his calibre after his transfer from Mamelodi Sundowns on 1 July 2018. Although the club failed to secure a top-eight spot in the league, Billiat showed glimpses why they captured his services in the first place after netting nine goals and creating a further 10 from 35 appearances in all competitions.
Lebohang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns)
The 24-year-old quickly adapted to life at his new club following his transfer from Maritzburg United at the start of the season. Maboe was heavily criticised for joining the Brazilians, but proved his doubters wrong after his impressive first season with the club that saw him rack up nine goals and assisted a further eight from 45 appearances across all competitions.
Maboe, who played most of the campaign as a false 9, also helped the Tshwane giants secure their record ninth Absa Premiership title, while helping them reach the semi-final of the Caf Champions League.
Deon Hotto (Bidvest Wits)
The Namibian international enjoyed a stellar campaign in his first season with Wits and hit the ground running following his transfer from Bloemfontein Celtic.
Hotto cemented his place in Gavin Hunt’s first team, which proved fruitful for the attacker as he went on to finish the campaign as one of the league’s top creators after bagging 16 assists and scoring six goals from 35 appearances in all competitions.
Peter Leeuwenburgh (Cape Town City)
The 25-year-old shot-stopper established himself as the Citizens No 1 goalkeeper upon his arrival from Ajax Amsterdam in his first season in South Africa, and one of the best goalkeepers the league has to offer.
Leeuwenburgh played a crucial part of Benni McCarthy’s side that went on to lift their maiden MTN8 trophy after the Dutchman saved two penalties in the final of the competition against Cup rivals SuperSport United, while helping City to a fourth-place finish in the league to secure their place in next season’s MTN8 tournament.
The lanky keeper went on to keep 13 clean sheets from 34 games while featuring 34 times across all competitions.
Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates)
The former African Warriors winger had a fairly good campaign with Pirates after joining the club from Bidvest Wits in July 2018. Pule played a crucial role to help the club secure second place in the league after creating five goals, and found the back of the net nine times from 38 appearances under the guidance of Milutin Sredojevic.
If he can improve on his performance and remain consistent heading into the new season, the 27-year-old will continue to make his mark for club and country, and grow as a player.
Emiliano Tade (AmaZulu/Mamelodi Sundowns)
The Argentine striker hit the ground running in his first season playing in South Africa, netting seven goals and creating two assists for AmaZulu before completing a move to Sundowns in the second half of the campaign. Although he only featured 12 times for the Brazilians and bagged two goals, he has shown glimpses of what he has to offer Pitso Mosimane on attack.
Mohammed Anas (Polokwane City)
The Ghanaian international was a man in form for Rise and Shine during their successful campaign, which saw them finish fifth in the PSL standings, scoring eight goals and assisting five from 25 games in his first season with Polokwane. He was one of the main contributors throughout the campaign which saw them secure their place in next seasons top-eight competition.
Gift Motupa (Bidvest Wits)
The 24-year-old got his campaign with Wits off to a great start after swopping Chippa United for the Clever Boys, and although he didn’t fare as well in the second half of the season as in the first, the former Orlando Pirates man still managed to find the back of the net on 11 occasions while claiming three assists from 25 appearances in all competitions.
Bonginkosi Ntuli (AmaZulu)
After failing to become a regular starter for Sundowns and constantly being loaned out by the Brazilians, the 28-year-old secured a permanent move to AmaZulu at the beginning of the campaign, and this proved to be the right move for the striker as he ended up netting 10 goals from 28 games in all competitions for the KwaZulu-Natal outfit.
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